Pitch-Key: Preset Alternative Tuning For Guitar
So I popped the little Pitch-Key (PK) gadget onto my acoustic guitar today and gave it a little test run; here are my thoughts on it.
The PK is a very simple installation, it just slides onto the strings by means of it hooking under to give an easy access stable tuning key to drop or raise the pitch of any string accurately and on the fly.
There’s an allen key grub screw pin for fine adjustment which means both regions are bang on the money in tune and all at just a twist of the wrist.
Is there anything like the Pitch-Key on the market?
I consider this very similar to an EVH® D-Tuna® system, fitted to his signature Wolfgang® Floyd Rose® tremolo units.
The purpose of the D-Tuna is so you can drop the top E string to drop D, this has to be done at the bridge end because the strings are locked at the nut.
The PK is different to the D-Tuna in that it fixes on the actual strings at a point just past the nut and unlike the D-Tuna you can adjust the range of detuning or up tuning, plus use it on different strings too.
So what’s the purpose of this if you can just detune it via the tuning peg?
If you want to detune quickly during a song or very quickly after a song, with perfect accuracy, this is the way to go.
If you’re in the middle of a guitar piece and you want to transition to a drop D, or change any string to a new pitch, without hearing the string or anyone else hearing it, PK is the kid for this.
Also if you don’t want to be looking at a tuner stuck on the guitar on the floor for this quiet transition to a new tuning then the PK becomes priceless.
Imagine you’ve just played the last chord in your quiet touchy feely piece of music and your on the chord and it’s still ringing, you can detune at a flick while the chord is ringing without the bottom sounding ready to go into your drop D parts. (Presuming the bottom E isn’t also ringing of coarse)
Experienced guitarists with good ears may be able to de-tune and retune very quickly and accurately on the fly but not while it is silent unless a tuner is engaged plus no other strings are ringing, if your not superhuman and want to do this then PK is the gadget for you.
Pro’s – Quick accurate detuning – No need to play while detuning- Easy access to adjustable variable tuning – Useful for all strings – Easy pitch up – Very stable – Electric or acoustic – easy to install
Cons – May (or may not) put extra strain on strings – Re-tuning up is slightly cumbersome plus I kept forgetting which way to turn it a few times but I’m sure this would even out as I used it more.
It’s a keeper for sure, go get one now!
Written by Mark Thompson from Guitar Addiction